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Keeping kids safe while remote learning

Posted at 7:38 PM, Aug 25, 2020

AMHERST, N.Y. (WKBW) — From the halls, to the home, students across Western New York will be using a remote learning model in mostly every school district for some of the days per week.

Students will be using some degree of a remote learning model in practically every school district across Western New York this school year.

“We’re going to give every student the opportunity to have the technology in their home if they need it,” said Mark Laurrie, Superintendent of Niagara Falls Central Schools.

That means those devices must be protected against material and people students should not be accessing.

“The devices regardless of where they are gets channeled through our filter here at the district,” said Sweet Home Central School Superintendent Anthony Day.

In the Sweet Home Central School District, laptops and tablets that have been distributed to students are secure and the IT department works tirelessly to block all websites that are inappropriate and not intended for student use.

“Kids can’t put anything on their devices that we don’t install for them,” he said.

Former Sweet Home High School Principal Scott Martin has spent the past four years developing a clutch remote learning model called Think Tech Solutions. The company works with about seven local school districts and here, Martin has taken it a step further, especially when it comes to online live lesson instruction.

“The teacher can turn their camera on and be visible to all students in the room,” said Martin. “The only way students can get into the classroom is if they have the room code. What the students are in, they have the ability to raise their hand.”

Martin says this gets rid of any background noise, and multiple students with open mics during the lesson. It also mitigates the opportunity for any inappropriate issues.

“Teachers let kids in one at a time to that stream,” he said. “There’s not random people coming in from the outside.”

Seven local school districts are currently using Martin’s platform for remote learning.

The Sweet Home District has configured its e-mail servers where only those with a Sweet Home e-mail address can send and receive e-mails, so no one from the outside is permitted.